‘King Of A Land’ From Yusuf/Cat Stevens Is An Album Of Hope For A Future We Can All Get Behind

With lyrics that would work just as well as poems as they do songs, ‘King Of A Land’ is introspective, at times autobiographical, but overall one that hopes for a way to bring peace and love to the world. But given it’s from the legendary Yusuf/Cat Stevens, should we expect anything less?

From time to time ‘King Of A Land’ feels autobiographical: the rocky ‘Pagan Run’ describes someone who was chasing a life of money and success, until God showed them which way to go; other songs, such as the title track, which was released around the same time as King Charles III’s coronation, give us hints as to how to go about achieving true peace in the world. Yusuf is not subtle in the slightest with new single, ‘All Nights, All Days’, which sees him rail against the rich taxing the poor, and suggesting that we might “lock those leaders in London Zoo”. The rollicking Americana track with its wry humour is reminiscent of the sound of the Travelling Wilburys, which might in part be because the album was recorded at George Harrison’s private studio in his former home, Friar Park. Watch the music video for ‘All Nights, All Days’ below:

Yusuf / Cat Stevens - All Nights, All Days (Official Video)

While Yusuf’s lyrics appear on the surface to be simple, they’re without exception much much deeper; multi-layered and introspective. The instrumentals are also multi-layered, mixed in such a way as to echo in one ear and then the other. Seventh song, ‘Things’, is one such track. On the surface it seems the focus is just on Yusuf and his guitar, but as he sings of how we can only truly know what we see and experience ourselves – as much as we might dream of things, reaching out to know, ultimately it’s not up to us, it’s not up to us to judge what we don’t see, it’s only God who knows – only God’s will is and always will be. The mixing of the instrumentals somehow draw this message out more intensely.

Coming ahead of his Glastonbury debut (HOW is this his first time?) on June 25, where Yusuf will perform on Pyramid Stage in the tea time legends slot, and just one month before his 75th birthday, ‘King Of A Land’ feels both familiar and groundbreaking. Tracks such as ‘How Good It Feels’ call to mind such Cat Stevens classics as ‘Morning Has Broken’ – but with a symphonic twist. Others, like ‘King Of The Land’ are deeply contemplative, at times feeling like a stream of consciousness. Track 6, ‘Another Night In The Rain’ follows someone deep in thought on their way to who knows where, contemplating their life and at the same time solving all the problems of the world.

‘King Of A Land’ is set for release this Friday, June 16, via BMG / Dark Horse Records. The album is available for pre-order here on green vinyl in a gatefold format with a 36 page booklet featuring illustrations by Peter Reynolds. The CD also features a booklet illustrated by Peter Reynolds.

An exclusive edition of the album, pressed on white vinyl, is available from the official Yusuf / Cat Stevens online store along with album merchandise.

Find out more about Yusuf/Cat Stevens and his music online on his official website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

About the author

Lisa has been writing for over 20 years, starting as the entertainment editor on her university newspaper. Since then she's written for Popwrapped, Maximum Pop, Celebmix, and ListenOnRepeat.

Lisa loves all good music, with particular fondness for Jedward and David Bowie. She's interviewed Edward Grimes (Jedward), Kevin Godley, Trevor Horn, Paul Young, Peter Cox (Go West), Brendan B Brown (Wheatus), Bruce Foxton (The Jam), among many many more. Lisa is also available for freelance writing - please email lisa@essentiallypop.com